Douglas Adams once described the god of an alien planet as “The Ineffable Bob.” The Bob who can not be known, as it were. I got to thinking about Bob today as I wandered through the various sports sections. While most do not see Virginia McCaskey pulling the plug on Lovie, it is not as though there are any articles full of ringing endorsements for the man either. Most just seem to think that Lovie’s return is inevitable and they are trying to make peace with that fact. And yet, Lovie’s record, sans Ron Rivera, has been pathetic. With this season he is guaranteed to be under .500 as a head coach when everything has been exactly as he wanted. He has the defensive coaches he wants, the offensive coaches he wants and the quarterback he wants.
If the Bears again give Lovie what he wants, they may as well cancel the 2010 season. It’s over before it starts.
Unlike some, I have a hard time blaming the players for this mess. At least not completely.
What is ineffable to me is the fact that players come out of nowhere, seem to be pro ready and don’t get to play. MIKE MULLIGAN (Sun Times) suffers from similar thoughts.
‘’I had to be consistent to make this team, so I think I can do that,’’ Aromashodu said.
Fun as it has been to see him emerge, you have to wonder why so many players on the team seem to be worthy of playing time all of a sudden. Safety Craig Steltz had a good game after rotting on the bench all year. Gaines Adams made some plays. Kahlil Bell has been pretty good when given a chance.
General manager Jerry Angelo has said he likes the team’s roster. Now that some of the backups have done a decent job filling in for injured starters, you have to wonder if he’s right, if the problem all along has been with player development, not talent.
All men are not created equal when it comes to the football field. There’s usually a distinct talent gap between starters and reserves. When the gap isn’t so big, is that an indictment of the ability of coaches to understand what they have on the roster? How many Bears players have been used the wrong way or lined up in the wrong position this season?
Everyone has talked about how well Chris Williams played against Jared Allen on Monday night. Williams had a fine game, although he got a ton of help with chip blocks from various teammates and game-play things like running at Allen and using a moving pocket to keep him from teeing off on Cutler. Not as much was said about Frank Omiyale’s performance, but the simple fact is that defensive tackle Kevin Williams wasn’t among 20 Vikings who made the official final defensive statistic sheet in the NFL game summary.
Allen was in on a couple of tackles. Williams was shut out.
Can the offensive line eventually emerge as a strength for the Bears? Remember, there are a couple of young offensive linemen on the roster who look the part but haven’t been given a chance yet. Lance Louis, a 6-3, 305-pound seventh-round pick from San Diego State, is such a good athlete the team contemplated making him a tight end. Third-year man James Marten is a 6-8, 310-pounder who was moved up from the practice squad Dec. 19. The team also has high hopes for rookies such as wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias and cornerback D.J. Moore.
Earl Bennett never got a chance as a rookie and wound up a starter. Not playing is usually an indicator guys can’t play, but it’s not that way with the Bears.
That last line sums it up nicely. It’s not that way with the Bears. And why not? Why have so many players been playing positions that are not natural for them? Why do players play one position in pre-season only to move when the games count? Why are safeties lining up 17 yards off the line of scrimmage? Why is the one player Cutler wanted to throw to just now being allowed off the bench? Why is the Devin Hester experiment allowed to continue? Why in God’s name has Orlando Pace even been issued a uniform?
Because Lovie wants it that way, that’s why.
The Bears have put themselves into this position and it is not one that can be gently cured. They need to burn down the house, clean the foundation and try again. This is the NFL. Thanks to salary caps and easier free agency you can rebuild on the fly. The Bears have room under their cap and can easily afford to eat some coaching contracts. It isn’t like no one goes to Bears games. Nor is there a shortage of fans who are willing to spend big money on jerseys, hats and what have you. Yes, I know that the NFL controls merchandise and television revenue, but the Bears slice of that pie is still bigger than the budgets of some smaller nations. They have room to move should they so choose.
Maybe the problem here is that the Bears have just become too ‘effable,’ as it were.
If everyone knows what you’re going to do there isn’t much chance of surprising anyone.